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Filed under: Rumors

Rumor: Blizzard employees' real life names will not appear on the Real ID forums [Updated]

Recently a few forum goers have posted that they've been in touch with Blizzard phone representatives and have heard from them that Blizzard employee's real-life names will actually not be appearing on the new Real ID forums.

So here's what we know:
  • Bashiok / Drysc posted his real life name yesterday and had his privacy violated by people posting maps to his house, his parents' names and (potentially incorrect) cell phone numbers.
  • We have seen multiple reports of WoW players who have called up Blizzard's support line and spoken with representatives who've told them blues will no longer be using their real names in the new forums.
  • Josh, a Blizzard phone rep, said that Blizzard employees "cannot risk having their personal lives compromised by in-game issues."
  • Blizzard blue representative Rygarius locked, but did not delete nor deny, a thread on this.
  • WoW.com has emailed PR contacts within Blizzard for comment, and has not heard anything back.
So there you have it. It's a pretty solid rumor at this point. The known facts speak for themselves.

Update: Wryxian is referring people back to the original blue post language about the change. However, we're still hearing from phone bank representatives that Blizzard has changed its mind about blue posters.

Update #2: According to Nethaera, they're going to stick with their original plan and have blue posters use their real names. As to why other parts of Blizzard are saying something different (WoW.com has verified what other parts of Blizzard has said), it appears they're having some internal communication issues.

Filed under: Rumors

Sam Raimi discusses Warcraft movie

Sam Raimi revealed quite a bit of information about his work on the Warcraft movie in a recent video interview with Collider.com at the Saturn Awards.

Many promising things were said during the interview, but some points of interest include:
  • Raimi and scriptwriter Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan, The Patriot) are working on a treatment for the film. So far they've written a 40-page document.
  • Raimi is playing WoW to get a feel for the game world. He has a level 72 character.
  • Legendary Pictures (Batman Begins, Inception) is excited about the project and Legendary Pictures founder and producer, Thomas Tull is a big fan of the game.
  • The movie will be set entirely in the Warcraft universe. No video game component will exist in the film. (Thank Elune.)
Raimi also addressed where he is at with the Oz prequel, a project he signed onto last week. Raimi is now currently signed on to direct both films, and though he does not provide any confirmation on which film he will direct first, in the interview he seems much more invested in the Warcraft film at the moment. He says in the interview, "well, right now, I'm not really committed to Oz. We're going to have to wait and see how that all goes, but I did read it. I love the script. I think it's a great project. It's something I'd like to become involved with."

For the highlights from the interview, hit the jump.

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Filed under: Interviews, Rumors, Warcraft Movie

Operation Echo Isles: Transcripts and details


WARNING: This post is chock full of spoilers. Spoilers like you would not believe. If you'd like to be surprised about anything involving the Echo Isles and what is contained within, I wouldn't recommend continuing onward. If, however, you are clamoring for more information, read on!

There is a lot of great information about upcoming world events in the current patch 3.3.3 PTR. We've already posted about some of the story inside the Ruby Sanctum as well as what is being referred to as "Operation Gnomeregan". However, the trolls have their own operation underway in trying to take back the Echo Isles from the evil hex master Zalazane. There are lots and lots of spoilers about the quest line and the story behind it. Please note that this is just an assembly of transcripts from all of the sound files put in what appears to be a proper order.

Dere be some dark voodoo inside. Do ye have what it takes?

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Filed under: Events, Lore, Rumors, Cataclysm

More Cataclysm precursors found in Patch 3.3.3 PTR files

While we haven't heard much new Cataclysm news lately, the Patch 3.3.3 PTR files have provided some pretty tantalizing hints as to what may be to come, including some new models associated with the Twilight's Hammer cult.

First off, we have a series of portals. These portals are topped by a crystal that looks very similar to the wind stones of Silithus, and in fact, each portal and crystal seems specifically marked to summon a specific element. There's also a bloodstained sacrificial altar and a couple of banners, all of these have a very specific dragon-like motif.

The Twilight's Hammer has already been confirmed to be working with Deathwing in Cataclysm, and since they're an elemental doomsday cult dedicated to bringing about the return of the Old Gods, busting Deathwing out of prison is right up their alley. We should probably expect to see these models in game relatively soon, and probably as part of a plot by the Twilight's Hammer to summon Deathwing back into the world -- a plot which will, of course, eventually succeed.

Stayed tuned for more coverage of Patch 3.3.3 and the Cataclysm opening event as it develops!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Rumors

Raimi tackling another movie before Warcraft

You remember the Warcraft movie, right? A couple weeks ago, we learned that Spiderman 4 had melted down, and director Sam Raimi, and the entire cast, are being swapped out while the Marvel Empire reboots the franchise. The link here is that Mr. Raimi is also the one who's directing the Warcraft film for Legendary Pictures.

The Spiderman fiasco drew rumors that Warcraft was coming that much sooner, since Raimi was now free to work on it. However, news appeared yesterday that his next project is The Shadow, so it looks like we're going to have to be patient a little longer. But hey, we're Blizzard fans, right? We can be patient.

And honestly, I'm still not convinced that a live-action Warcraft movie is a good idea. I mean, I like a lot of Raimi's work, and Legendary Pictures has made some great films, but... I dunno. We'll see.

Filed under: Rumors, Warcraft Movie

What we know about the Warcraft movie


Last week, we reported that the Warcraft movie may be on its way. Previously there had been speculation that the film's development would be pushed back, since director Sam Raimi was tied up by problems with Spider-Man 4. Raimi then unexpectedly walked away from Spider-Man 4, citing creative reasons, and it suddenly looked hopeful that he might soon be turning his attention to the Warcraft film.

So now, in preparation for more news on the film, we will be bringing you up to date on what we currently know about the Warcraft movie.

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Filed under: News items, Features, BlizzCon, Rumors, Warcraft Movie

Rumor: Sam Raimi's next project is the Warcraft movie

According to Ain't It Cool News, Sam Raimi's next project will be the Warcraft movie. This follows on yesterday's announcement that Spider-Man 4 is canceled, and that Raimi is done with the Spider-Man franchise. The Spider-Man movie series is going to undergo a reboot (yes, already) with entirely new cast and crew, which means Raimi is free to work on other projects.

If AICN's sources are correct and Raimi is going to be working on the Warcraft movie next, this is great news for the movie. While it is probably still a few years away from release, the fact that he's focusing on it now is a good indication the project is moving forward in the right direction.

AICN points out that with the success of Avatar the time is ripe for creating immersive virtual worlds, and you'd be hard pressed to find a more immersive world than Warcraft. Although lets all hope that the Warcraft movie doesn't become a cheap rip off of Avatar -- but with Raimi at the helm it's likely in safe hands.

Filed under: Rumors

Spider-Man 4 canceled; Warcraft movie soon?

Sam Raimi will no longer be directing Spider-Man 4, and neither will anyone else for that matter. Sony Pictures announced today that they are canning the current Spider-Man franchise and will be rebooting it in the summer of 2012 with an entirely new director, cast, and crew.

Raimi's decision to withdraw from the project supposedly stems from the summer 2011 release date, and how it would compromise the creative integrity of the film. This all comes after news that complications in the Spider-Man 4 script threatened to delay the film.

For Blizzard fans, this could mean that Raimi is now free to shift his focus to the World of Warcraft movie. However, Mike Fleming of Deadline Hollywood cites an alternative project option to the Azerothian epic, The Given Day, a novel written by Dennis Lehane, author of Shutter Island and Mystic River.

No official announcements from Raimi or Blizzard yet, however Fleming is a very reliable source for rumors in Hollywood.

[Thanks to everyone for the tips!]

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Rumors

Blizzard's comments on the in-game Cataclysm earthquakes

Blue posters in the official forums have started leaving comments about the earthquakes happening in-game, which as we reported the other day, appear to be linked to in-game mobs that are potentially ushering in the beginning of the Cataclysm world event.

The comments are somewhat cryptic, but that is par for the course with Blizzard. They like to tease -- to hold the carrot in front of you and make you run for it. But the evidence we presented Monday was pretty solid, and it's gained even more traction in the community and around the net; so this is an interesting follow up to it all.

The comments thus far after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Rumors, Cataclysm

A chat with Check Six, WoW Arena team

The official Microsoft Sync blog (apparently the blog isn't official -- they fooled me) has posted a video interview (which you can see above) with Check Six, one of the high level World of Warcraft Arena teams showing up in tournaments lately. The video is somewhat tame, but that actually works in its favor -- this high-level Arena play can be complicated and hard to follow, and so simplifying it a little bit actually makes it more palatable. You high level Arena players won't get to hear their opinions on the latest builds or balance tweaks, unfortunately (for that, you can check out our Coliseum column), but the rest of us can at least put some faces to one of these team names floating around, and hear a little bit more about how these guys run these tournaments.

They've been playing together for about two or three months, and they practice quite a bit: together, they do about ten or twelve hours a week, but I'd assume they play outside of the team as well. They say that WoW has a pretty "easy skill cap to reach," but after that, it's a matter of getting the right team members together, because they say teamwork is more important in Arenas than even a game like Counter-Strike ("CS"). And they kind of surprised me with how young they are -- it's a big deal to go running around the world and playing in tournaments when you're probably dealing with school and an early career at the same time. It's not the most well produced Arena interview you'll ever see, but I liked the frank look at the guys and what they're like away from their computers.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Interviews, Arena, Rumors

World of Warcraft: The Magazine needs a new Editor-in-chief

A few of our readers (thanks, guys!) spotted this posting popping up on the various job boards recently -- Future US, the company publishing the World of Warcraft magazine that's due out any day now, is apparently seeking a new Editor-in-Chief. Say what? They haven't even released the first issue yet, and they're already seeking a new head honcho? We did a little poking around, and it's true -- Dan Amrich, the man who originally held the position, has moved off already to another gig with Activision (though it seems coincidental that he's going to work for Blizzard's parent company), and Future is stuck seeking a new EIC even before issue one releases.

Does this mean the magazine is in trouble? True, it can't be good for the captain of a ship to move on just as it's heading out to port, but we've heard everything is still on course -- the first issue of the subscription (that quite a few people have already bought) is under Blizzard's scrutiny right now, and the second issue is well underway. Everything we hear still says they're aiming to release it sometime this month, but obviously if we hear anything else, we'll let you know. In the meantime, if you're in San Francisco, have a few years' publishing experience, and know a whole lot about World of Warcraft, we have this job you might want...

Filed under: Virtual selves, Blizzard, Economy, Rumors

Rumors of WoW TCG's demise greatly exaggerated

Rumors have been swirling around the Internet this weekend, reporting that the WoW Trading Card Game was ending this year after the release of the upcoming Scourgewar expansion set due to mishandling of marketing by the Upper Deck team. The rumor apparently started at Rawrcast, where it was attributed to a "reliable source".

Apparently not that reliable! Catching wind of the rumor, Upper Deck responded through its Senior Director, Scott Gaeta, saying that not only was the TCG not "over," but that it was steaming along right on schedule. Said Gaeta:
"Plans for future sets have been moving along as normal and we even announced a good chunk of the 2010 product schedule a week ago. Just recently the Upper Deck team was at Blizzard to discuss plans for 2011 and just today we were at Blizzard to get a sneak peak of Icecrown Citadel, to help in the development of the 2010 Raid Deck and Treasure Packs. We have lots of great plans for 2010 and beyond and look forward to another great year for the WOW TCG. Thanks for your enthusiasm and support! "
Good enough for me. Interneterati who heard the rumor attributed the TCG's purported demise to a myriad of culprits, including Blizzard's new microtransactional Pet Store, Activision grand poobah and laser-precise IP exploiter Bobby Kotick, or even the iron tabletop gaming fist of Magic: The Gathering. Of course, none of those ended up being the case.

Me, I'm glad to see that the TCG isn't going away, but let's start seeing some of those cool vanity loot card items attainable through other means, yeah? And the rocket mount an Engineering item.

Filed under: Fan stuff, News items, Rumors

Patch 3.3 PTR: Meet Arcturis, the newest and coolest Spirit Beast


I was listening in on the Twisted Nether Blogcast and heard Nibuca mention that the new Spirit Bear image we reported earlier this week had been identified. Sure enough, I head over to the one place I knew would have the answer, Mania's Arcania. Sure enough there it was, Mania had a long post giving all the details.

Mania's Arcania member safrienaer reported that they had found the new spirit beast on the PTR Patch 3.3 in Grizzly Hills, north of Amberpine Lodge. Along with some really cool screenshots, safrienaer went on to describe that at the moment Arcturis doesn't have any special sounds. However, Mania thinks, and I have to agree, that we'll probably see some polishing of the graphic with some special glowing effects and sounds before the completion of the testing of Patch 3.3 on the PTR.

On a final note, Mania noted that Jangalian did some research on Wikipedia and found that it seems our new Spirit Beast might be a reference to Arcturus Mengsk from StarCraft.

Anyways, I'm excited about the prospect of taming Arcturis. My only problem will be stable slots and having to pick a new Elvis related name that matches his personality.

(Edit: I owe Jangalian an apology for overlooking that she had originally provided Mania the information about the different possible references for Blizzard choosing Acturis as the name for this really cool Spirit Beast.)

Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, Wrath of the Lich King, Rumors

Patch 3.3 PTR: Why are Northshire wolves getting sick

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Patch 3.3 full of diseased wolves! D.H.E.T.A. protesting Abbey over wolf hunts! Extra! Extra!

Okay, maybe changing this isn't the most earth shattering news. Seeing Blizzard change quests or even add new animal skins is something we normally expect with each patch. But this one is different. Going back to the starting areas and changing the quests and mobs there isn't something we see as every day. As such, it begs the question as to why now? Or maybe more intriguingly, what does it mean?

In the current Wolves Across the Border quest, you're asked to go get 8 pieces of Tough Wolf Meat for Eagan Peltskinner. We've now seen that this has changed on the Patch 3.3 PTR. Now it looks like Eagan's favorite meal is being threatened. Instead of killing those healthy, howling, wolves for their meat, Eagan is talking about some mysterious disease.

Disease? What disease?

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, Rumors

PTR Patch 3.3: Potential new spirit beast

There hasn't been much new news on the Patch 3.3 PTR for us hunters the last couple of weeks. Then all of a sudden in the latest build something intriguing popped up over on MMO-Champion. Shown above, it looks to be a blue glowing ethereal bear. Looking eerily like a bear form spirit beast.

This got me thinking that there are 3 possibilities (okay, I'll admit there are a lot more than 3). First, Blizzard has been secretly planning on allowing shamans learn a new ability called spirit bear that will finally allow them to tank. Next, maybe night elf druids will be able to Shadowmeld in bear form. Finally, my personal favorite, could this be a new spirit beast?

The idea of a bear form spirit beast isn't out of the question. So far we've had a couple of cat forms and one wolf. Adding a bear form would fit right in with the standard pet forms.

I don't know, but I can't wait to find out. If it does turn out to be new tamable spirit beast, I'll call him DeadElvis. If not, maybe this is what a tamed druid will look like after they learn hunter form. Either way, stay tuned and as Patch 3.3 develops we'll let you know what we find out.
Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King . With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Rumors

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